Your article (TNT, 6-8) regarding the addition of the Merchant Marine flag to the array of flags in Lakewood’s council chamber referred to the U.S. Merchant Marine as a civilian auxiliary to the U.S. Navy. I sailed as a merchant seaman during World War II, and I was under the impression that the USMM was under the U.S. Coast Guard.
When I joined at the age of 16 (the country was a little short of merchant seamen right then), I was sent to boot camp on Catalina Island, which was conducted by the Coast Guard. From there, I was sent to Radio Officer’s School at Gallups Island, Mass., again run by the Coast Guard. When I sent my “Seaman’s Allotment” home to my mother, it was through the USCG. And when, in 1993, I received my (somewhat belated) honorable discharge papers, they were from the Coast Guard.
When did the Navy take over?